League of Ireland Premier Division

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League of Ireland Premier Division
League of Ireland logo.png
Country  Ireland (11 teams)
Other club(s) from Northern Ireland (1 team)
Confederation UEFA (Europe)
Founded 1985
Number of teams 12 (from 2012)
Level on pyramid 1
Relegation to League of Ireland First Division
Domestic cup(s) FAI Cup
President's Cup
League cup(s) League of Ireland Cup
International cup(s) UEFA Champions League
UEFA Europa League
Current champions Dundalk (11th title)
(2015)
Most championships Shelbourne (6)
TV partners RTÉ 2 & Eir Sport (live matches)
RTÉ 2 (highlights)
Website SSEAirtricityLeague.ie
2016

The League of Ireland Premier Division (Irish: Príomhroinn Sraith na hÉireann) is the top level division in the Republic of Ireland football league system. Contested by 12 clubs, it operates a system of promotion and relegation with the League of Ireland First Division. Seasons run from March to October, with teams playing 33 matches. Most games are played on Fridays, with a few games held on Saturdays and Sundays. Since 2010 the league is sponsored by SSE Airtricity and therefore officially known as the SSE Airtricity League.

The division was formed as the League of Ireland Premier Division in 1985 as a result of the decision to split the League of Ireland into two divisions, which also created the League of Ireland First Division. The league is ranked 36th in the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) coefficients of leagues based on performances in European competitions over the last five years, ahead of Lithuania's A Lyga and behind Moldova's National Division. In 2009, the FAI rejected proposals from clubs to remove the first division and restore the League of Ireland to its original structure.[1]

Since 1921, a total of 19 clubs have been crowned champions of the Irish football league system. The current champions are Dundalk F.C., who won the title in the 2015 League of Ireland season.

Competition format[edit]

Competition[edit]

There are 12 clubs in the Premier Division. During the course of a season (from March to October) each club plays the others three times, once or twice at their home stadium and once or twice at that of their opponents, for a total of 33 games. Teams receive three points for a win and one point for a draw. No points are awarded for a loss. Teams are ranked by total points, then goal difference and then goals scored. At the end of each season, the club with the most points is crowned champion. If points are equal, the goal difference and then goals scored determine the winner. If still equal, teams are deemed to occupy the same position. If there is a tie for the championship, for relegation, or for qualification to other competitions, a play-off match at a neutral venue decides rank. The team that finishes last gets relegated to the First Division automatically and the second lowest placed teams participate in a two-legged play-off against the second placed team of the First Division with the loser being relegated to the First Division and the winner being promoted to the Premier Division.

Trophy[edit]

The trophy

The current League of Ireland trophy was unveiled on October 31, 2007 by the Football Association of Ireland. It stands at 91 cm (36 inches) tall with a circumference of 83 cm (33 inches). It is a Sterling Silver trophy consisting of silver and a mass of other metals including copper. The design of the trophy consists of a silver football at the top, which is encompassed by the cup itself. Drogheda United were the first team to receive the newly created trophy on November 2, 2007.

Sponsorship[edit]

The Premier Division has been sponsored since the early 1990s. The sponsor has been able to determine the league's sponsorship name. There have been three sponsors since the league's formation.

  • 1990's: Bord Gáis (Bord Gáis League Premier Division)
  • 2000-2008: Eircom (Eircom League Premier Division)
  • 2010–present: SSE Airtricity (Airtricity League Premier Division)

The league had no title sponsor in 2009, but had a number of secondary sponsors including Newstalk and Electronic Arts. As well as sponsorship for the league itself, the Premier Division has a number of official partners and suppliers. The official ball supplier for the league is Umbro. The official drink for the league is Lucozade. The official radio and newspaper partners are Newstalk and Irish Daily Star.

Media coverage[edit]

The television rights for the SSE Airtricity League are negotiated by the FAI with the individual broadcasters RTÉ and Eir Sport. Under the current deal RTÉ will show 78 league and FAI Cup games beginning in August 2014 up to November 2018.[2] While Eir Sport will show 9 league games a year and the final of the League of Ireland Cup. RTÉ also produce a highlights show Soccer Republic airing every Monday throughout the league season at 11:05 [3]

The FAI agreed a deal with TrackChamp in 2015 to show all Premier Division Fixtures from the 2016 Season onwards in all countries outside Ireland. The deal allows any person with an active bwin account to watch the matches on a live stream. The camera uses sensors to track the ball. The footage captured will also be offered to the clubs as means of reviewing the game.

Clubs[edit]

Team Home city/suburb Stadium
Bohemians Phibsborough, Dublin Dalymount Park
Bray Wanderers Bray Carlisle Grounds
Cork City Cork Turner's Cross
Derry City Derry Brandywell Stadium
Dundalk Dundalk Oriel Park
Finn Harps Ballybofey Finn Park
Galway United Galway Eamonn Deacy Park
Longford Town Longford City Calling Stadium
Shamrock Rovers Tallaght, Dublin Tallaght Stadium
Sligo Rovers Sligo The Showgrounds
St. Patrick's Athletic Inchicore, Dublin Richmond Park
Wexford Youths Crossabeg Ferrycarrig Park


Managers[edit]

The league’s current longest reigning manager is Liam Buckley, who has remained in his position at St Patrick's Athletic since December 2011. The most recent managerial appointment was Alan Mathews to Longford Town. 12 Irish managers have won the Premier Division, with the most recent being Stephen Kenny of Dundalk in 2014. 5 managers from outside the Republic of Ireland have won the Premier Division including 3 Northern Irish managers, Jim McLaughlin (Shamrock Rovers, Derry City and Shelbourne, 3 wins), Felix Healy (Derry City, 1 win), Michael O'Neill (Shamrock Rovers, 2 wins) and 2 English managers, Pat Dolan (Saint Patrick’s Athletic, 1 win) and Ian Baraclough (Sligo Rovers, 1 win). No manager from outside the British Isles has won the Premier Division. Currently all 12 of the managers are from Ireland.

The current managers in the Premier Division are:

Former League of Ireland manager Pat Fenlon is the winner of 5 League of Ireland trophies as manager with Shelbourne and Bohemians.
Name Club Appointed
Republic of Ireland Liam Buckley St Patrick's Athletic

2 December 2011

Republic of Ireland Stephen Kenny Dundalk

22 November 2012

Republic of Ireland John Caulfield Cork City 5 November 2013
Republic of Ireland Tommy Dunne Galway United

26 November 2013

Northern Ireland Kenny Shiels Derry City

13 May 2014

Republic of Ireland Pat Fenlon Shamrock Rovers

6 August 2014

Republic of Ireland Martin Russell Limerick

21 July 2014

Republic of Ireland Keith Long Bohemians

30 October 2014

Republic of Ireland Johnny McDonnell Drogheda United

29 November 2014

Republic of Ireland Trevor Croly Bray Wanderers

11 May 2015

Republic of Ireland Dave Robertson Sligo Rovers

19 November 2015

Republic of Ireland Alan Mathews Longford Town

22 August 2016

History[edit]

Season Champions Runners-up Third Place Top goalscorer Player of the Year Teams Relegated UEFA coefficient
Ranking
1921–85 League of Ireland[A] N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
1985-86 Shamrock Rovers
(13th title)
Galway United Dundalk Republic of Ireland Tommy Gaynor (Limerick F.C.) (15) Republic of Ireland Paul Doolin (Shamrock Rovers) Shelbourne
UCD
24 (6.332) Disc Plain yellow dark.svg
1986-87 Shamrock Rovers
(14th title)
Dundalk Bohemians Republic of Ireland Mick Byrne (Shamrock Rovers) (12) Republic of Ireland Mick Byrne (Shamrock Rovers) Home Farm
Athlone Town
29 (5.665) RedDownArrow.svg −5
1987-88 Dundalk
(7th title)
St. Patrick's Athletic Bohemians Northern Ireland Jonathan Speak (Derry City) (24) Republic of Ireland Paddy Dillon (St. Patrick's Athletic) Bray Wanderers
Sligo Rovers
30 (3.665) RedDownArrow.svg −1
1988-89 Derry City
(1st title)
Dundalk Limerick City Northern Ireland Billy Hamilton (Limerick F.C.) (21) Republic of Ireland Paul Doolin (Derry City) Cobh Ramblers
Waterford United
31 (2.665) RedDownArrow.svg −1
1989-90 St. Patrick's Athletic
(4th title)
Derry City Dundalk Republic of Ireland Mark Ennis (St. Patrick's Athletic) (19) Republic of Ireland Mark Ennis (St. Patrick's Athletic) Drogheda United
UCD
31 (2.998) Disc Plain yellow dark.svg
1990-91 Dundalk
(8th title)
Cork City St. Patrick's Athletic Republic of Ireland Peter Hanrahan (Dundalk) (18) Republic of Ireland Pat Morley (Cork City) Waterford United
Limerick City
32 (1.332) RedDownArrow.svg −1
1991-92 Shelbourne
(8th title)
Derry City Cork City Republic of Ireland John Caulfield (Cork City) (16) Republic of Ireland Pat Fenlon (Bohemians) Athlone Town
Galway United
31 (1.999) Green-Up-Arrow.svg +1
1992-93 Cork City
(1st title)
Bohemians Shelbourne Republic of Ireland Pat Morley (Cork City) (20) Republic of Ireland Donal O'Brien (Derry City) Waterford United
Sligo Rovers
Bray Wanderers
31 (2.665) Disc Plain yellow dark.svg
1993-94 Shamrock Rovers
(15th title)
Cork City Galway United Republic of Ireland Stephen Geoghegan (Shamrock Rovers) (23) Republic of Ireland Stephen Geoghegan (Shamrock Rovers) Limerick
Drogheda United
32 (2.665) RedDownArrow.svg −1
1994-95 Dundalk
(9th title)
Derry City Shelbourne Republic of Ireland John Caulfield (Cork City) (16) Northern Ireland Liam Coyle (Derry City) Cobh Ramblers
Monaghan United
33 (3.665) RedDownArrow.svg −1
1995-96 St. Patrick's Athletic
(5th title)
Bohemians Sligo Rovers Republic of Ireland Stephen Geoghegan (Shelbourne) (19) Republic of Ireland Eddie Gormley (St. Patrick's Athletic) Athlone Town
Drogheda United
Galway United
35 (4.665) RedDownArrow.svg −2
1996-97 Derry City
(2nd title)
Bohemians Shelbourne Republic of Ireland Tony Cousins (Shamrock Rovers) (16)
Republic of Ireland Stephen Geoghegan (Shelbourne) (16)
Northern Ireland Peter Hutton (Derry City) Bray Wanderers
Home Farm Everton
37 (4.331) RedDownArrow.svg −2
1997-98 St. Patrick's Athletic
(6th title)
Shelbourne Cork City Republic of Ireland Stephen Geoghegan (Shelbourne) (17) Republic of Ireland Pat Scully (Shelbourne) Kilkenny City
Drogheda United
43 (4.331) RedDownArrow.svg −6
1998-99 St. Patrick's Athletic
(7th title)
Cork City Shelbourne Republic of Ireland Trevor Molloy (St. Patrick's Athletic) (15) Republic of Ireland Paul Osam (St. Patrick's Athletic) Bray Wanderers
Dundalk
44 (3.998) RedDownArrow.svg −1
1999-00 Shelbourne
(9th title)
Cork City Bohemians Republic of Ireland Pat Morley (Cork City) (20) Republic of Ireland Pat Fenlon (Shelbourne) Waterford United
Sligo Rovers
Drogheda United
41 (1.832) Green-Up-Arrow.svg +3
2000-01 Bohemians
(8th title)
Shelbourne Cork City Republic of Ireland Glen Crowe (Bohemians) (25) Republic of Ireland Glen Crowe (Bohemians) Finn Harps
Kilkenny City
41 (1.665) Disc Plain yellow dark.svg
2001-02 Shelbourne
(10th title)
Shamrock Rovers St. Patrick's Athletic Republic of Ireland Glen Crowe (Bohemians) (21) Republic of Ireland Owen Heary (Shelbourne) Dundalk
Galway United
Monaghan United
38 (2.998) Green-Up-Arrow.svg +3
2002-03 Bohemians
(9th title)
Shelbourne Shamrock Rovers Republic of Ireland Glen Crowe (Bohemians) (18) Republic of Ireland Glen Crowe (Bohemians) Bray Wanderers 37 (3.331) Green-Up-Arrow.svg +1
2003 Shelbourne
(11th title)
Bohemians Cork City Republic of Ireland Jason Byrne (Shelbourne) (21) Republic of Ireland Jason Byrne (Shelbourne) UCD 39 (3.331) RedDownArrow.svg −2
2004 Shelbourne
(12th title)
Cork City Bohemians Republic of Ireland Jason Byrne (Shelbourne) (25) Republic of Ireland Jason Byrne (Shelbourne) Dublin City 40 (3.164) RedDownArrow.svg −1
2005 Cork City
(2nd title)
Derry City Shelbourne Republic of Ireland Jason Byrne (Shelbourne) (22) Republic of Ireland Mark Farren (Derry City) Shamrock Rovers
Finn Harps
38 (4.164) Green-Up-Arrow.svg +2
2006 Shelbourne
(13th title)
Derry City Drogheda United Republic of Ireland Jason Byrne (Shelbourne) (15) Cameroon Joseph Ndo (Shelbourne) Shelbournea 40 (4.331) RedDownArrow.svg −2
2007 Drogheda United
(1st title)
St Patrick's Athletic Bohemians Republic of Ireland David Mooney (Longford Town) (19) Republic of Ireland Brian Shelley (Drogheda United) Waterford United
Longford Town
35 (6.498) Green-Up-Arrow.svg +5
2008 Bohemians
(10th title)
St Patrick's Athletic Derry City Republic of Ireland Mark Farren (Derry City) (16) Republic of Ireland Keith Fahey (St. Patrick's Athletic) Finn Harps
Cobh Ramblers
UCD
35 (7.332) Disc Plain yellow dark.svg
2009 Bohemians
(11th title)
Shamrock Rovers Cork City Scotland Gary Twigg (Shamrock Rovers) (24) Scotland Gary Twigg (Shamrock Rovers) Cork City
Derry Cityb
30 (9.499) Green-Up-Arrow.svg +5
2010 Shamrock Rovers
(16th title)
Bohemians Sligo Rovers Scotland Gary Twigg (Shamrock Rovers) (20) Republic of Ireland Richie Ryan (Sligo Rovers) Sporting Fingalc 29 (9.541) Green-Up-Arrow.svg +1
2011 Shamrock Rovers
(17th title)
Sligo Rovers Derry City Libya Éamon Zayed (Derry City) (22) Libya Éamon Zayed (Derry City) Galway United 31 (8.708) RedDownArrow.svg −2
2012 Sligo Rovers
(3rd title)
Drogheda United St Patrick's Athletic Scotland Gary Twigg (Shamrock Rovers) (22) Republic of Ireland Mark Quigley (Sligo Rovers) Monaghan Unitedd 33 (7.375) RedDownArrow.svg -2
2013 St Patrick's Athletic
(8th title)
Dundalk Sligo Rovers Northern Ireland Rory Patterson (Derry City) (18) Republic of Ireland Killian Brennan (St Patrick's Athletic) Shelbourne 36 (7.375) RedDownArrow.svg -3
2014 Dundalk
(10th title)
Cork City St Patrick's Athletic Republic of Ireland Christy Fagan (St Patrick's Athletic (20)
Republic of Ireland Patrick Hoban (Dundalk) (20)
Republic of Ireland Christy Fagan (St Patrick's Athletic) Athlone Town
UCD
43 (5.125) RedDownArrow.svg -7
2015 Dundalk
(11th title)
Cork City Shamrock Rovers Republic of Ireland Richie Towell (Dundalk) (25) Republic of Ireland Richie Towell (Dundalk) Drogheda United
Limerick
40 (5.750) Green-Up-Arrow.svg +3
2016

a: Relegated by the Independent Assessment Group due to financial problems
b: Both clubs were demoted due to financial problems
c: As per rules, Drogheda United were to be relegated. This did not occur due to the closure of Sporting Fingal
d: Withdrew during season, due to financial reasons

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

A. ^ The League of Ireland was founded in 1921. The league split into 2 divisions in 1985, creating the League of Ireland Premier Division and the League of Ireland First Division. However, the winners of the Premier Division, having finished at the top of League of Ireland football, are considered to be League of Ireland Champions.[4][5]

References[edit]

External links[edit]